Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Urban Display Suite, by Michael Dalley, May 4, 2011

Urban Display Suite
Written by Michael Dalley, music by Michael Dalley & John Thorn, by High Performance Company
fortyfivedownstairs, until May 15, 2011
Stars: ***1/2

Gabrielle Quin, Michael Dalley, Sharon Davis, Lyall Brooks in Urban Display Suite

Do you have contact with real estate agents, inspect houses, drool over interior design magazines, dream of a “renovator’s delight” or laugh at garish McMansions? Michael Dalley’s satirical, musical cabaret, Urban Display Suite, is just the ticket for you.

The cast of four (Dalley, Lyall Brooks, Sharon Davis, Gabrielle Quin), dressed in slick, corporate gear, carrying clipboards and mouthing platitudes, sing Dalley’s scathing and hilarious lyrics. The opening number says it all: “It’s the white collar job for the blue collar brain.”

The jokes come thick and fast in sketches and songs about Australians’ obsession with buying property, “our national drug of choice”.

Dalley and Brooks are particularly funny and engaging. The songs range in style from latin beats, to sultry ballads and blues numbers accompanied by John Thorn on piano and accordion. The titles include: If You Bought Before the Boom, Upmarket Woman, Downmarket Man, One Day This Will All Be Mine and New Money.

There are gags about the fact that you can’t buy taste, that crummy houses cost the earth now, the cool suburbs, lifestyle choices and marketing ploys. Get along and enjoy this “tribute to the little capitalists we’ve become”.

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